So who exactly who is she, this mistress of Atlantis, this priestess with the leastest? She's Antinea, part Tondelayo and part Cobra Woman, living with a leopard by her side, and featuring a smile that could melt stone, yet one that only fools trust. A crafty game of chess shows her at her most sinister, repeating check over and over again like a leopard who has its prey trapped yet keels making it think that it is near freedom until it is too late. In the case of this game, he's the equivalent of both Randolph Scott and Ronald Colman, recently arrived and lost in the desert as he comes across a paradise both intriguing and sinister.
Bridget Helm isn't quite Helen Gahagan, but she is far from Shangri La's Margo. She is closer to a spoiled school girl used to getting her way no matter what. World culture (including Can Can dancers) are part of the regular culture there, managing to entrance everyone caught in its trap. I believe that it is John Stuart as the captured hero who longs to be escape even though he us intrigued by there. A strange performance by an actor whom I wasn't able to identify just giggles with sinister effeminate behavior yet is portrayed to be in love with a female servant.
Sometimes breathtaking to look at, this just gets furtherly more bizarre as the plot develops. The great G.W. Pabst shows that he had a true artistic sense that didn't always have a common appeal, often pretentious and too high brow. The conclusion made absolutely no sense. As others have suggested, this often seemed like bits and pieces of various ideas tossed together without the benefit of cohesion. I must refer to it then as an artistic let- down where nothing really comes together and the results are unsatisfactory all over.
Review by mark.waltz from the Internet Movie Database.